Impressive tactics, sure to rally support from their Republican base.
[quote] [color=#FF0000]Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol, angry over the proposed health-care reform bill, shouted “nigger” Saturday at U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who was nearly beaten to death during an Alabama march in the 1960s.
The protesters also shouted obscenities at other members of the Congressional Black Caucus[/color], lawmakers said.
“They were shouting, sort of harassing,” Lewis said. “But, it’s OK, I’ve faced this before. It reminded me of the '60s. It was a lot of downright hate and anger and people being downright mean.” . . . . .
A colleague who was accompanying Lewis said people in the crowd responded by saying “Kill the bill, then the n-word.”
“It surprised me that people are so mean and we can’t engage in a civil dialogue and debate,” Lewis said.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said he was a few yards behind Lewis and distinctly heard “nigger.”
“[color=#FF0000]It was a chorus[/color],” Cleaver said. “In a way, I feel sorry for those people who are doing this nasty stuff - they’re being whipped up. I decided I wouldn’t be angry with any of them.”
[color=#FF0000]Protestors also used a slur as they confronted Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.[/color], an openly gay member of Congress. A writer for Huffington Post said [color=#FF0000]the crowd called Frank a “faggot.”[/color]
. . . . Frank said [color=#FF0000]the crowd consisted of a couple hundred of people and that they referred to him as “homo.”[/color]
“I’m disappointed with the unwillingness to be civil,” Frank told the Globe. "I was, I guess, surprised by the rancor. . .
Heated debate has surrounded what role race plays in the motivations of the tea party demonstrators. During protests [color=#FF0000]last summer, demonstrators displayed a poster depicting Obama as an African witch doctor complete with headdress[/color], above the words “OBAMACARE coming to a clinic near you.” [color=#FF0000]Former President Jimmy Carter asserted in September that racism was a major factor behind the hostility that Obama’s proposals had faced.
The claim brought angry rebuttals from Republicans[/color]. . .
House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., said Saturday’s ugliness underscored for him that the health-care overhaul isn’t the only motivation for many protesters.
“[color=#FF0000]I heard people saying things today I’ve not heard since March 15th, 1960, when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus[/color],” Clyburn said. "This is incredible, shocking to me. . . . [/quote]